Number of famous international cricketers seen: 3
Number of Barbados’ government ministers spotted: 2
Number of famous international musicians we hung out with: 1
Opportunities to taste rum: 1
Today was a day of two halves. Is that a cricket term? It was a day of both ends. It was a day of two laps. OK, I give up.
Barbados loves its cricket and the Kensington Oval dominates Bridgetown, contrasting its long sleek metal finish with the brightly coloured houses of the Bajan capital.
When we were handed an exclusive invite to meet some of the world’s most famous names in the sport at this “mecca” for cricket fans, and to see them honoured with the first blue plaque awarded outside the UK, we RAN at the chance (see what I did there?).
Fast bowler Wes Hall, batsman Desmond Haynes and batsman Sir Everton Weekes (who even has a stand named after him) were the greats on hand for the event. The press was there on mass. I am hoping to have made some local publications with some strategic positioning.
If you win the holiday here to the Accra Beach Hotel, try to pop over to see the new plaque. You can’t miss it.
After the speeches and the obligatory curtain pull, there was a reception at the home of the Cricket Legends museum. It’s an historic pavillion-style building that sits in the shadow of the stands. It’s a must-see for sporting fans and Barbados’ best players have donated items to it.
I’ll come home knowing two things:
A lot more about cricket.
How to open beer bottles with other beer bottles. I was completely STUMPED without a bottle opener. In what’s probably the best life-hack EVER, legendary Desmond Haynes (1991’s Wisden Cricketer of the Year, 7487 runs in 116 Test matches at an average of 42.29) brought us a Banks (the beer of choice here), and whipped out his special bottle-cap skill that he honed as a child on glass bottles of soft drinks.
I’ll need to practice a bit before I show you.
The rest of the day was spent immersed in Bajan culture.
Damian Leach runs Cocktail Kitchen in St Lawrence Gap. He’s a chef who’s travelled the world. He brought with him pigs trotters with pea puree. I only eat fish but Paul assures me that it was lovely.
We feared setting off the smoke alarm when freelance mixologist Damien Williams knocked up a guava and rum cocktail and then steamed it to make the flavours more vibrant.
In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that Paul might make playing the steel pan a possible new career when he’s too old to find the faders. We now know that ISN’T an option. He gave it a fine go though, bless him. David ZigE Walcott was his (super-patient) teacher.
To cap it all, “Electric Avenue” and “Give Me Hope” sensation Eddie Grant, spent the day hanging out with us. We’ve asked him if he’ll consider the Isle of Wight Festival in 2019. Hope you don’t mind, John Giddings?
Opportunities to hear steel pans, drink cocktails and eat pig trotters (or something tamer) are plentiful. Make them part of your holiday if you’re our lucky, lucky, lucky (not at all jealous) winner.
Be here with the Accra Beach Hotel, 1Leisure and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Find out how by clicking on this link.